As if the TV show, magazine, mail-order catalog, and books weren't enough for her fans, the Martha Stewart Good Things Group meets once every three months at Barnes & Noble in Plantation (591 S. University Dr.) to discuss the homemaking maven's latest revelations. The group is named for Stewart's favorite catch phrase: After a segment on her show about time-saving canning techniques, for example, she concludes by saying, "It's a good thing." (If you have time to can food, are you really watching the clock?) True Stewart aficionados know the phrase well, and at least 50 gather at group meetings to watch demonstrations of Stewart's nifty methods for creating chicken-salad tea sandwiches encrusted with sesame seeds or putting together that just-so flower arrangement. At 7:30 this evening, four dishes from Martha Stewart's Hors D'Oeuvres Handbook will be tasted and discussed by the group, and a copy of the book and a Martha-by-Mail hors d'oeuvres utensils kit will be given away. Admission is free. Call 954-723-0497 to R.S.V.P.
The little critters look like miniature lobsters, and they're variously called crawdads, crayfish, or crawfish. The freshwater crustaceans don't have the succulent flavor of their bigger cousins, so they require a little pepping up. Cajun folks living along the bayous of the Gulf Coast have perfected the art of seasoning crawfish, and one of those folks is Bob Richardson, who owns the Acadiana Catfish Shak restaurant in Lafayette, Louisiana. He'll tell you that if you boil crawfish and sprinkle seasoning on top after they're cooked, you're doing it all wrong. He'll be cooking crawfish the traditional (read: correct) way at the Cajun/Zydeco Crawfish Festival today through Sunday at Fort Lauderdale Stadium (5301 NW 12th Ave.), adding plenty of spices, potatoes, and corn to the boiling water while the crawfish are cooking. Along with crawfish-eating contests, the festival features foot-stompin', accordion-and-washboard-driven zydeco music. Tickets cost $10 in advance or $12 at the gate. For hours and details, see "Events" and "Concerts" listings or call 954-761-5934.
Demetrius Klein used to tell people that he wanted to dance the same way Jimi Hendrix played guitar. And, of course, they looked at him like he was nuts. "He played with power and virtuosity, yet with such subtlety and phrasing," Klein explains. "You got the idea he didn't care if he could re-create exactly what he was doing. He was just there, in the moment." Klein, who is both dancer and choreographer, takes the same approach during the six-minute solo piece Only Weeping, which is set to the Stevie Ray Vaughan version of Hendrix's "Little Wing." Using what he calls "structured improvisation," Klein performs variations on a theme. During a quiet section of the song, he slides and spins across the floor, rising to his feet only between moves, which he varies from performance to performance. At one point he plants his feet on the ground and traces paths around his body with his arms. The Lake Worth-based Demetrius Klein Dance Company will perform at 8 p.m. tonight and Sunday at the Crest Theatre, 51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach. Tickets cost $10 and $15. Call 561-586-1889.
One of the most tragic chapters in Florida history and in the history of U.S. race relations unfolded in the tiny, all-black town of Rosewood in Central Florida. In 1923 a white woman from the nearby town of Sumner tried to cover up a beating by her boyfriend by claiming that a Rosewood man had attacked her. During the seven days of riots that followed, Rosewood's citizens were tortured, raped, and lynched, and the town was burned to the ground. Descendants of massacre survivors split a $2 million settlement the state awarded in 1994. One of them, Liz Jenkins, a retired educator, historian, and activist, has written a book titled The Real Rosewood. She'll discuss the book today at the ArtServe Gallery (1300 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale), where a historical exhibit about Rosewood will be on view. Admission to the 3 p.m. talk is free. Call 954-497-1675.
The wildlife and landscape of Florida inspired author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings to write The Yearling (1938) and Cross Creek (1942). The life of the writer, who won the Pulitzer Prize and the O. Henry Memorial Award for fiction, inspired playwright Mary Hausch to write the one-woman show An Enchanted Land. Rawlings was originally a syndicated columnist, but in 1928 she was looking for a new challenge. Although her outdoors experiences were limited to a few trips to her father's farm when she was a child, at age 32 the tenacious writer gave up family, friends, and creature comforts to live in the backwoods of Florida and find subjects for her fiction. She wrote: "All this strenuous out-door stuff is new to me since coming to Florida. I've taken to it naturally, but my chief claim to capability in such matters lies only in my being game for anything." "Anything" included her attempt to find "intimate and accurate details" for her writings by living with a family that manufactured moonshine. Sara Morsey portrays the writer at 8 p.m. tonight and May 17 at the Caldwell Theatre Company (7873 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton). Tickets cost $12 and $15. Call 561-241-7432.
They may sound like a bunch of former hippies, but the members of the Herb Society of Palm Beach are interested in cultivating plants for use in food and medicine, not for smoking. At today's meeting, club member Leona Grant will speak about lavender. We know the plant for its pretty purple flowers and wonderful smell, which is featured in some perfumes. But lavender is also used in soothing aromatherapy oils and has antiseptic properties. Those who attend the meeting will be able to sample a lavender cookie and sip lavender tea. The group meets at 9:30 a.m. on the second Tuesday of every month at Mounts Botanical Gardens, 531 N. Military Trl., West Palm Beach. Admission is $2. Call 561-640-7943.
Picture this: A woman who's five-feet, five-inches tall and weighs 120 pounds is leaving a nightclub. Just as she's unlocking her car door, a six-foot, two-inch guy who weighs about twice as much as the woman grabs her from behind and spins her around. Whether he's going after her purse or something else, her chances of escaping are slim. Or are they? "Every man on the planet is going to underestimate the woman, so she's going to have one free shot," says Gerry Knapton, a martial arts instructor. "If she knows what to do, in less than half a second she can incapacitate anybody." Knapton suggests that she go for the eyes. She can put her hands up to her face, as if blocking a punch, then jab the guy in the eye when his guard is down. Even a stray eyelash in your eye can put you out of commission momentarily, so at the very least the jab will give the woman time to dash back into the nightclub. The finger jab is just one of the basic moves Knapton will teach during the free Women's Self-Defense Seminars being offered tonight through May 17 at his Bushido Knights Ryu Academy of Martial Arts, 221 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Classes begin at 7 p.m. Call 954-455-1005 for more information.